I have been a happy USAA customer for nearly 25 years, but in the past 5 years have noticed a major decline in their service and response to claims. I have stayed with them because of their track record, but since moving into a new more expensive home, they have continued to let me down. I am wondering if my experience is unique or if this is who they have become and it is time for me to move on with a better company.
My first experience with a claim was about 7 years ago at my old home. There was roof damage. I called, opened a claim, they sent an adjuster, and the roof was replaced at no cost to me except my deductable. This was great and how insurance should work!
In my new home, there has been nothing but problems. The first issue was that the company continued to charge me a premium for my prior address for 3 years after moving into my current home, in spite of instructions to cancel the policy on the home we no longer owned. I didn't notice at first because I knew that my larger home would have a larger premium. It took a lot of time, communication on my part, and patience, but ultimately they did refund much of the money they never should have charged me. It was a headache, but they made it right in the end.
Then we had a well pump go out on us. I called and asked if replacement would be covered under my policy, and got an ambiguous reply and told to open a claim. I opened the claim only to find out that it would not cover the well pump. Ok, fair enough, I didn't worry much about it. Later we had severe hail damage in our neighborhood. I again called and asked if an adjuster could assess for damage. They told me to open a claim, and adjuster came, and there was no damage. Awesome. They closed both these claims without a payout. However, if you look at my *home report*, these claims show up as water damage and hail damage. I called and asked them to remove these claims as they were not paid, only to be told I had to go through Lexis Nexis, which has been a nightmare. Years later these claims are still listed and to get them removed I am going to have to pay a mortgage broker to help me because it needs a professional to handel it.
My latest problem is a flood on my main floor. We have an oversized tub in our master bathroom and 60 gallons of water backed up through a toilet on our main floor due to a block in the maindrain. There was water everywhere, and toilet paper and human waste as well. The water then seeped through the hardwood floor ruining the drywall and carpet in my basement. Given that it was sewage and disgusting and that I have small children, I immediately started demolishing the damage, ripping out sewage laden carpet and drywall. The flood happened on a Saturday and we couldn't get a plumber to our property until Wednesday. A mitigation company came and assessed the damage and said that any insurance company would cover it given the extent. I called USAA and they too told me the damage would be covered. They specifically said that given our open floor plan, 2000sqft on both the main floor and basement, they would refinish the floors on the mainfloor and replace the carpet in the basement. I opened the claim on 2/26. They asked me to obtain quotes for the work that needed done, which I did. This included floor refinishing, drywall repairs, new carpet, and movers/storage since we have to clear the entire main floor to get the floors fixed. In the meantime, I had fans on trying to dry out the damage in the remaining drywall that I didn't remove and over the warped floors. After I submitted all of these quotes, totaling 30k, USAA went radio silent. After a few weeks of me pestering them with calls and emails, they then said that they needed to send out an adjuster. This was beyond an annoyance, as I had taken time off of work to get the quotes they asked for and inconvienced several companies with whom I hoped to work. It just seemed like another hoop to jump through to get the damage fixed. But it was what they needed, so I did it. The adjuster came out when my wife was home. She told him about what happened and where the damage was. She offered to show him the tub so he could see the volume of water (he refused). He said he had to file his report based on the damage he saw and that his supervisor (who did not assess the damage) had to sign off on it. My wife didn't think much of it and let him do his job. After another long wait and many more emails from me, on 4/19, we finally heard back to hear that the payment would be $4237.92. This is insulting for 30k of damage. They took out our 2k deductible (fair) and then $5105.61 for "recoverable depreciation," for the damaged carpet (which was fine before the flood and now we cannot even walk through our basement). They are not covering any of the hardwood damge outside of the bathroom (5x6 ft), when the water flooded more than twice that space (11x13ft, spreading through 3 rooms on my main floor). I have talked with them and I am trying to be resonable. They have said I "may" get the recoverable depreciation back after the repairs are done. But at this point, I think I need to stop paying them my high premium and get new insurance company. We can't afford to pay them so much only to then also have to pay for all of this damage out of our pocket as well. This is not how insurance should work.
Yikes! I'm so sorry to hear about the damage to your home! It sounds like this has been quite an ordeal and I can understand why you would be disappointed with us. We never want you to have a negative experience with a claim and I'd like to further assist. I have located your profile and have escalated this issue to the appropriate team. While I do not have an exact turnaround time on when they will be reaching out to you, our team usually responds within several business days- sometimes sooner. We thank you for reaching out to us and appreciate your patience. - Heather